W-F School Board to meet with financial advisors Nov. 14
By Angie Landsverk
Construction at Weyauwega-Fremont High School may begin next year after voters in the district approved a school referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Voters approved spending up to $21 million on a building and improvement program by a vote of 1,867 to 1,607, according to District Administrator Scott Bleck.
“We expected solid voter turnout, and we experienced that with the referendum question, alongside with the presidential election,” he said on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
The approved referendum includes a $339,432 project at Fremont Elementary School and $20.6 million in improvements and additions at W-F High School.
Planning for the projects will begin immediately.
On Monday, Nov. 14, the school board will meet with a representative from Baird Financial to discuss a timeline for going to market to sell bonds to support the improvements, Bleck said.
The board wants to secure funding now, when interest rates are low, to save the district interest costs, he said.
He said the architectural design process will also begin now.
The district has been told a project of this size typically takes between 2 and 2 1/2 years to complete, Bleck said.
The first six to eight months of that time period will be the design process, during which detailed plans will be designed and approved.
Bleck said the board will also have to decide whether it wants a project manager or a builder/manager for the project.
Construction at the high school could begin in late summer or early fall, he said.
The additions being constructed at the high school, which include four new classrooms, a 400-seat auditorium and a multipurpose gym, will be the first focus, Bleck said.
Those portions of the project may take place while school is in session.
A timeline for the remodeling of the high school’s interior will be developed, with consideration for when students are not on campus, he said.
Bleck said as additions are completed and students transition into those areas, remodeling will be able to take place inside the school – even when school is in session.
For example, after the four new science classrooms are built on the back of the school, the old science classes will be remodeled for their new uses. Those classrooms will be used for math classes and additional space for the existing art room.
He appreciates the community’s support for the projects.
“It’s been a journey to communicate the facts. I’m very appreciative that the community supports the long-term vision of the high school and those opportunities which will be presented to our children tomorrow and in the future,” Bleck said.